Thursday, March 29, 2007

Farewell, sweet Betsy*

I'm in a sort of melancholy mood today because it's "turn-my-leased-vehicle-back-in" day. Later, I will part with my all-time favorite car. That's a big deal for a guy.

Cars are far more important to guys than girls. For women it's just a means of transportation. But men enter into a long-lasting relationship with their car. They take extra pride in keeping them clean, they nurse them back to health when they're sick... they buy nice things for them, like brush guards, chrome wheels and subwoofers. We do the same thing with riding mowers, only to a lesser degree. It's really kind of sweet.

So, today is kind of like a break-up. We both knew it was coming, but that doesn't make it easier. We'll hug one last time at the dealership, I'll give the bumper one last "damn, you're sexy" smack... and walk away. It's for the best... right? We're just too different.

And this time, I won't just jump into another relationship right away. No, this time I'm going to wait a while. I need my space. I need time to think.

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world... she had to walk into mine."

*325 hp, 330 lb-ft of torque, 4.4-L, 32-valve, DOHC V8... 0-60 in 4.6 seconds... sniff sniff...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Things I learned on vacation...

1 - Four people aged 17 to 55 in the same vehicle have as much chance of sharing the same musical taste as Heather Mills has of winning an ass-kicking contest.
2 - You cannot take a Motorola Razr swimming with you.
3 - Cingular sells a good, cheap replacement phone that I am now using until the Apple iPhone comes out.
4 - My girlfriend is a statuesque, blonde, beautiful woman who looks amazing in a swim suit. (already knew this, but lying by the pool and on the beach was a fun reminder)
5 - All of the Melting Pot's restaurants smell the same.
5b - Large amounts of melted cheese and good colon function do NOT go hand in hand.
6 - The 61 dollar entry fee and 10 dollar parking at Busch Gardens-Tampa is a high price to pay for what ultimately is an expensive induction of vomiting.
7 - The Florida oranges they sell at grocery stores here in St. Louis are fresher and prettier than the ones they sell at those roadside stands in Florida... and much cheaper. WTF?
8 - Dr. Mike and Paula are great dog sitters.
9 - Driving 30 hours for vacation is a crazy concept when Southwest has freakin' 90-minute flights for $199 round trip.
10 - Even people in Florida hate American Idol contestant Sanjaya Malakar and can't wait for him to lose.

Vacation is great, but it's so damn nice to be back in my own bed. This week is a bitch at work... you know how it is. You spend an entire week after vacation playing catch-up.

Plus my tan's almost gone already.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Vacation - Day Four

(Dateline - Vero Beach, FL - Los Angeles Dodgertown Stadium)

"Mr. Pujols! You promised me an autograph."

Hunter, this cute little third-grader who was sitting next to me at the game shouted politely as Cardinals first baseman and perennial all star Albert Pujols walked past our front row seats at the Cards/Dodgers spring training game.

Albert looked over, recognized Hunter and walked over to keep his promise. The game was going on, but he had been pulled and sent to the locker room... we were ahead 6-0. So as he walked by us ready to call it a night, he made time to sign Hunter's Albert Pujols rookie card and probably 150 other autographs as people gathered for a glimpse and a souvenir. Albert didn't disappoint, he knows that fans are the reason the game is played. Some baseball players have forgotten that.

It made me a Pujols fan all over again. He stood there for a long time, even while the game was being played and balls were flying around us.

We had amazing seats, just beyond 1st base in the front row. Cards won 13-0. We had more fans at the game than the Dodgers did. I wasn't too surprised.


After the game, we looked around for a restaurant by the water. They are surprisingly hard to find... the property is taken up by expensive beach-front houses and condos. We ended up at a place called South Beach Grille, which was about to close but the chef/manager came out and begged us to stay. They whipped us up steak, tilapia and amazing scallops... and combined with a dirty martini and a glass of Smoked Loon Pinot Noir, it was a great way to top off the night.

As we arrived back at the hotel, there were some fellow Cards fans sitting outside their rooms on the balcony partying. We were too tired to join in - we ended up crashing. Today we're headed to South Beach for more rays.

I hope I can keep the sand out of my trunks.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Vacation - Day Three

As I was pondering what to write this morning, it crossed my mind that NOBODY wants to read stories about your vacation. It makes everyone feel like SHIT because they are stuck in their day-to-day personal hells, while some jagoff is posting pictures and telling stories of lounging by a pool or lying on a beach drinking mai tais.

Well, suck it up bitches. Here's another post about my vacation.

As I'm having coffee on the lanai this morning, there are landscapers scouring the yard trimming trees, raking leaves and edging the grass. Guess what - every last one of them is speaking ENGLISH.

Back in St. Louis you can't find a landscaper that isn't carrying a green card... or a full-fledged illegal. Here, further south where you'd EXPECT to find Juan Rodriguez Morales Martinez operating the mower... you get Shecky Steinberg in your yard.


Yesterday was very relaxing, we hung out poolside for a while, then played a game called Rummikub with Violet's family. (Vi and I were partners - we lost like DOGS) Then it was high-brow entertainment on DVD (Talladega Nights) and off to bed by midnight.

Today's schedule involves breakfast at the diner, more relaxation poolside, (expected high today of 75-80) and a quiet dinner with the family. Tomorrow everything breaks loose and we go crazy on a road-trip that will take us to a Cardinals spring-training game, Busch Gardens and a couple of fantastic beaches.

Travolta keeps calling my cell, he's starting to seem a little desperate. Everyone wants to be Dave's friend... do you have any idea what that kind of pressure does to a guy?

Here's a picture of John showing me the cockpit of one of his planes.

Being the geek I am, I will have the laptop with me, so expect almost real-time updates... because I know how people LOVE to read about vacations.


When service is bad, I bitch. But when service is great, I applaud.

I bought a broadband internet card for my laptop recently from Sprint and this thing is the bomb. It delivers DSL speed and never drops a connection. It's GREAT service. If you need such a product, I recommend going with Sprint.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Vacation - Day One

The trouble with driving 14 hours from Missouri to Florida is that your underwear gets completely bunched up in your ass crack, you get sucked into convenience store vortices along the way where you purchase things you aren't normally interested in, such as Hostess Snowballs and those red hot fries with the picture of Andy Capp on the front, and you find out how goddamn long it takes to drive across Georgia.

And you discover that everyone in Atlanta drives like a blind, inconsiderate asshole who must be on the way to a fire. (eerie sidenote, we passed the overpass where the busload of baseball players plunged over the edge)

But the Hummer rode like a magic carpet, Emily's mom was entertaining and we discovered that none of us really like Abba. (we forced ourselves to listen to their "#1 Singles" CD all the way through, and although I recognized many of them, overall I'm not a fan. I mean, what the hell is Fernando about, really? And Money, Money, Money just sucks. But I do have what I would consider an unhealthy level of enjoyment of Dancing Queen)

We arrived in Ocala at around 9-ish and I got to meet Emily's Grandma, Aunt and Uncle... who are fabulous people. We are staying in one of the homes they own, which is a two bedroom place with an amazing lanai and all the upgrades. And to think I've been wasting time in hotel rooms all these years.

One of my policies on vacation is NOT to eat at franchise restaurants. I stick to locally-owned places where you'll find the freshest local foods and it's not the same old thing you can get back home. So we're getting ready to venture out for breakfast and a little shopping. I want to find a little diner with some eggs and potatoes, coffee and a newspaper.

I'll let you know what other kind of trouble we get into.

PS - did you know John Travolta lives in Ocala, Florida? We'll probably run into him while we're here. If so, I'll tell him how I really enjoyed Wild Hogs but Emily didn't, and he'll probably glare at her condescendingly for a moment, then John and I will go out and play golf and drink beers and become the best of friends.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Grand Pie

On the Today Show this morning, I saw something that reminded me why we are reviled by many in the world.

As a kid, I remember times when my mom and I had only a Swanson's chicken pot pie for dinner... to share between us. Or a box of macaroni & cheese. Sometimes we didn't even have THAT much. Those were hard times, but we always bounced back.

It may seem strange, but I'm glad I experienced those times in my life. Nothing builds character and motivation better than being hungry. I never starved, but times were just hard enough that I am always thankful for what I have today.

Enter Nino's Bellisima, a restaurant in New York which is touting the world's most expensive pizza... and it's not your standard sausage & pepperoni. It's topped with creme fraiche, chives, eight ounces of four different kinds of Petrossian caviar, four ounces of thinly sliced Maine lobster tail, salmon roe, and a little bit of spice with wasabi.

One. Thousand. Dollars.

Look, I'm not trying to pretend I don't have things some might find excessive. I'm very fortunate to have a roof over my head, food in the kitchen, cars in my garage and some "extra" toys here and there.

But honestly... if I witnessed someone ordering that THOUSAND DOLLAR PIZZA, I might have to punch them in the face.

Intentional, blatant exhorbitance, especially with food, is ugly. It shows the worst of America, where one person spends enough on LUNCH to buy food for another for a year. Wouldn't a person be consumed with guilt while eating a pizza like that?

I don't mean to get on a rant here. I'm decidedly UNdecided on the subject of God, but if there is such an entity, I think he has his head buried in his hands. This sort of hedonism is out of hand.

I'm not suggesting a radical change of American lifestyle. A "what's mine is yours" type of socialism is antiproductive. We MUST be responsible for ourselves, while remaining helpful to those who fall on hard times.

But there MUST be a line. A thousand-dollar pizza is way over that line.

Am I the only one who feels this way?


After a "windows/sunroof open" day yesterday, it's a "furnace on" morning.

We're headed to Florida next week for some spring training baseball and beach time... and when we get back I'll bet tree buds will be out. Spring comes fast here.

Cards/Dodgers in Vero Beach. I'm taking my glove, you never know when they'll ask me to step in at 3rd.


When I went to Nashville a couple of weeks ago, I blogged each day about the activities that were taking place, but a friend of mine whined like a baby that I didn't mention him on my blog.

So here goes.

The week wouldn't have been the same without Dave Steele. Steele is my hero, I would be nothing without him. He made the week the fun it was, we all shared a room and he didn't even fart much... blah blah blah.

Satisfied Dave? Jesus. You'd think having a beautiful wife, two great daughters with one on the way, a fantastic home, successful voice over business and great job in radio would be enough. Greedy bastard.


So Steak and BJ Day is gone for another year. I'd love to report how things went, but I'm going to remain quiet so as not to spoil next year's revelry...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Steak and BJ Day, 2007

Today - is a day for the guys.

It is widely known that February 14 is mainly a girl's holiday. She gets the roses, the dinner, the pampering...

Today is man's version of Valentine's Day. It's "Steak and a BJ" Day. Link, just to prove what I'm saying.

Gentlemen, it's time to gently remind your significant other what a nice guy you were one month ago today. Tell her how hard you worked to make that day so special.

Then tell her you have an appetite for beef. Tell her she should, too.

Finally, OUR day has come. You'll both get STEAK, and with a stroke of luck, she'll get dessert, too.

Happy Steak and BJ Day to all who happen across my lonely outpost this day.

It's TIME...


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cheese in all its forms

A song has been going through my head and it's driving me nuts. Especially frustrating is when you only know one little line:

"Anywhere I go, there's always something to remind me - of another place in time..."
Do you recognize it? It's the song from the Geico caveman commercial when he's in the airport on the moving sidewalk.

I did some research and found out it's by a Swedish duo called Royksopp, and the song is called "Remind Me."

Click here to hear the entire song stream.

So I downloaded it from iTunes. I don't know, it's a little cheesy but there's something catchy about it. It is one of those songs that makes me want to hop a plane and fly to an island somewhere.

Whenever I travel, I burn a CD to listen to on the way. I throw most of them away after the trip, but this will be a song I'll include on my next travel CD. I'll also include the new song by Kenny Chesney, "Beer in Mexico"... since my next trip of consequence is Playa del Carmen.


We saw Wild Hogs over the weekend. Anyone seen it yet? It's a fun movie, and I thought of an analogy that fits it perfectly... Wild Hogs is to bikers... what City Slickers is to cowboys. The story line is almost identical.

It was a predictable movie, a little cheesy, but that didn't ruin it for me. The star of the show turns out to be William H. Macy. It reignited my desire to get a Harley. (or some kind of nice bike)

3 out of 5 stars.


What's with cheese?*

I've been on a fast-food kick lately (which I need to break) and noticed that when you order a slice of cheese on something they charge you 40 cents. But, if you order a sandwich that usually comes with cheese and tell them to hold the cheese, they don't give you a rebate.

Bastards. Fast food is the only business where you get screwed either way you go. I think I'll just stick the unwanted cheese to the outside of the drive-thru window next time. I paid for it, I can do what I want.

*this question makes me feel like Jerry Seinfeld.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Anybody own a power washer?

A word of culinary caution:

Don't order the Hardee's #2 combo with 1/3 pound burger when you're trying to drive. I made this mistake today for lunch... I didn't realize those burgers contain 1/3 quart of mayo and a pint each of ketchup and mustard.

My sammitch also featured the large, gnarly lumps of hard-to-eat-while-driving lettuce, and was packaged with the well intentioned hand-sized paper wrap that tells me I got my money's worth, but does nothing toward making the burger easier to consume.

I now have condiments on my jeans, steering wheel and sun visor. Sesame seeds litter my cupholder and seat. I will now need to powerwash the interior of my ride.


Included in an email (forward) from my Dad today:
"If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock."
My first thought was... "Gee, cell companies should be advertising this amazing feature!" Of course the email isn't even "remotely" correct. clears up the whole story.

So I wish I had checked Snopes prior to fiddling with my key fob and cell phone for an hour and forty-five freaking minutes today...


One of my favorite television shows when I was a kid was Lost in Space. "Danger, Will Robinson, danger!"

I'm watching the movie right now, which was made in 1998... and it reminded me how much fun (and how cheesy) the television show was. So... um.

I downloaded a couple of the old episodes off of iTunes.

I. Have. No. Life.

Gotta run for now, I have something to watc... um, I mean. Laundry to do. And stuff.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Idol??? Hello???

Quick entry - it's a throw-away, but...

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

As an American Idol viewer, I have reached the conclusion that it is no longer a talent show, it's a popularity contest.

Sabrina Sloan was booted, while Haley Scarnato stayed in??

Again, you have got to be fucking kidding me.

I'm watching via Tivo delay right now, so the show is over, but I haven't seen who else is booted. If Sanjaya (Mowgli from Jungle Book) makes it, I will not be watching this show anymore... it will have proven itself a farce.

Who am I kidding... it's a joke of a show anyway.

I'm out...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Pardon me while I spew mucus

So my head is completely stopped up. I sound like freakin' Droopy Dog in my voice over sessions, and sleep is irregular at best. I feel somewhat better today though... we'll see.

The new bedroom furniture was delivered yesterday (Violet's coverage here) and it looks great. The room is freshly painted and I transferred my underwear to the proper drawers.

Anybody else have a sorting routine for your clothes? Some might think I take it too far... I have one drawer for v-neck t-shirts, another for crew-necks, another one for colored t-shirts, still a separate drawer for t-shirts with words or art on them. Then I have separate drawers for white and colored socks, and separate drawers for boxers and boxer/briefs. I am a very organized person.

My closet is separated into different sections - one for plaid short-sleeve shirts, one for hawaiian vacation shirts, still another for long-sleeved shirts of all colors, another for only white long-sleeved shirts. A section for jeans, a section for black pants, and yet another section for khaki pants. I take from the right, put back to the left, and when the item has been worn twice (or once if I've been to Chevy's) I put it in the dry-clean or dirty clothes hamper. (those are separate too)


I generally try to pay bills twice a month. Today's bills include mortgage, credit card, child support, electricity, car, Hummer, Sam's Club, condo fee, phone bill. Jeezus, I need to learn moderation...

Speaking of, it's time to turn in my leased BMW. When I first got it, I needed two cars. For the past 6 months, I've barely driven it. I totally love this car - it's a 745Li with every option known to man. It goes zero to sixty in 4-point-something, has the greatest sound system I've ever heard, and has been the car I wanted for most of my life. I'm glad I got it.

Having said that, being rid of it will result in massive extra money per month, which I'm fairly sure Violet will want me to spend on bling. (she's not really that type)

I really want a two-seat convertible for the summer, maybe I'll make a move when it gets warm. I just need a fun warm-weather car of some kind... and it doesn't look like we're getting the VW Microbus I wanted.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Thin boob line

This made me laugh:

It's a screen shot of my site meter page, showing that someone from the L-A Sheriff's office came across my blog by searching the term "boobs." Nice, guys.

Can't you go out and stop some female speeder to see those? "I clocked you going 38 in a 35, but if you'll show me those, we can make this whole thing go away."

It's notable that they spent almost 20 minutes looking at them, and did so in fairly robust* 1024x768 screen resolution and 32 bit color.

Ain't cops all the same? ;)

*Yeah I get it - do you?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Gooooooood Mornin'!

Nashville was a blur last week, and aside from an extreme lack of sleep, I feel pretty good. I must learn that my body is no longer 20... it's like 8 years older than that. I can no longer work all day, party all night and sleep for 3 or 4 hours, for 5 days in a row.

Well actually I guess I can.

At a party Saturday night I mentioned to some poker buddies that my new furniture is coming a few weeks earlier than expected, and will be delivered Wednesday. I was going to paint the bedroom first, while it's practically empty, but now with the earlier delivery date it would be impossible.

One of the guys says that maybe we should have a painting party the next morning and get it knocked out. Ridiculous idea, I thought... the bedroom in question has cathedral ceilings, interesting angles, ledges, corners, bay windows... all of which make it a painting challenge. I figured I would have to hire it done at a later date.

Not acceptable to this group. 'Course we were drinking.

The next morning at 11 am sharp (after I completely lost my ass and half my possessions in that poker game) Ada, Dr. Mike, Mikey, Mike, (yes, three Mikes) and Diana show up and we wet the first brush. In 2.5 hours the entire room was done, looked like a million dollars, (minus the money I had lost the night before) and I was reminded of how much I owe my friends for being there when I need a hand.

Thing is, they all know I would (and will) do the same for them. That's how the group is. We decided yesterday that none of us would hire painters for any reason... we'll all just reconvene. The brotherhood of the paint.


When you're out of pocket the news really piles up. I guess Anna Nicole is buried and Britney is trying to join her now? Oh, and Microsoft debuts a bigger Xbox memory unit. Good thing I checked my start page at MSN, otherwise I wouldn't know about these important developments.

This is where I avoid launching into a "what qualifies as news these days" tirade.


Since getting home from the trip, I have a lot of catching up to do so I'm getting started now. I'll be back around later to pick up your cans, peanut wrappers and headphones. (obvious flight-attendant reference but I have no idea why)

Friday, March 02, 2007

C-R-S, Day Three - Laying Further Waste to a City

(Nashville, TN) - More of the city's defenses were broken down last night, as Violet and I infiltrated Ruth's Chris Steakhouse with friends (l-r) Dave, me, Emily, Kim, Jeff and Billy. I tore up a perfectly good NY strip steak and killed a poor, defenseless lobster.

Then, with bellies full and livers working overtime, we headed over to a private concert and mixer with Keith Urban. He is fresh off a stint in rehab and doing really well. I can't imagine a life on the road and the challenges it presents, but Keith is a great guy and he'll be fine. I'm really proud of him. Besides, he's married to freakin' Nicole Kidman.

I've mentioned that Nashville now has a smoking ban in effect, and all around our hotel there are signs that sell the virtues of something called Nicogel - a hand gel which contains nicotine... rub it on and get your fix. I've certainly "milked" the whole concept of killing two birds with one stone by masturbating with it. Problem is, you'd really want to follow that up with a cigarette.

Morris... out.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

C-R-S, Day Two - Laying Waste To A City

Day TWO in Nashville went well - and by "well," I mean my bar tab was under $200 for the second consecutive day. Lots of old record reps and friends are doing the buying this year, and I can't pretend to be disappointed.

Here is Violet with one of her favorite artists, Jewel. Yeah, she's a pop star, but she's big into country music, and is an amazing writer.

A country songwriter friend of mine... we'll just call him "Wynn" (because that's his name)... told me a story last night about his first writing collaboration with Jewel. "I shit myself," he said. My reply, "I'll bet you did, it must be cool to write with Jewel."

"No, I actually shit myself. I 'sharted' right then and there - had to go change my pants." You have to know Wynn to realize how hilarious this story is.

Violet and me at the Bridge Bar. Others in the bar at the time were... Toby Keith, Jake Owen, some of Chris LeDoux's old band... and this dude.

Yeah. THE Geico caveman. His words to me, "it's so easy, even a voiceover guy can do it." That smart-ass bastard...

I'll check back in with further updates as the situation warrants. Tonight we hang out with Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson and a few others to be named later.
Hey Radio Randy, email me so we can hook up, it would be a shame not to have coffee when we're in the same town...